Tips, tricks and tutorials from the UK’s leading distributor of music technology products. Source Distribution exclusively distributes Event, Eventide, Genelec, Lynx, Moog, Jet City, PreSonus, RODE, Rosendahl and Universal Audio.
1. Which type? Condenser, dynamic, shotgun, stereo pair…?
Studio condenser mics have large diaphragms, typically 1”, for high sensitivity and a wide frequency range which is ideal for recording vocals, acoustic guitar or similar instruments. They also come with a range of different pick-up patterns: cardioid is the commonest and the pattern is heart-shaped (hence the name) so it picks up primarily from the front and sides and rejects sound from the rear, which also suits vocals and acoustic instruments where excessive sound reflections from the walls, floor and ceiling may colour the sound with an unpleasant ‘boxy’ quality.
Figure of eight pick-up pattern is like two cardioid patterns on top of one another and facing opposite sides – great for backing vocals with two people either side of the mic. Omni-directional mics pick up sound equally from all directions, and can be good for situations where you want to gather a wide sound field, for example a choir in a beautifully reverberant church, or to gather ‘room sound’ to mix in with a more directional mic nearer the actual sound source – here’s a chart of some of the most commonly encountered mic polar patterns:
Hello UAD-2 Owners :
We’re excited to see so many folks downloading Studer A800 Multichannel Tape Recorder software for UAD-2, and activating 14-day demos. As many A800 users are quickly finding out, this plug-in has the unique ability to “glue together” your mixes — providing a rare combination warmth, air and punch — just like recording to 2” analog tape.
However, to really hear what the A800 plug-in can do for your mixes, we’ve gathered a few helpful tips:
How to “audition” the Studer A800 plug-in
The best way to “hear” the A800 is to disable/remove everything you’ve got on your tracks — EQs, compressors, reverbs, saturation plug-ins, etc. Or better still, just start a new mix from scratch. Place the A800 plug-in as the first insert on every channel. This is your new “starting point”, so to speak. Then, you can slowly add back your other plug-ins, adjusting them to match the new baseline sound of the A800. You may find yourself using less EQ and compression, for example. It’s important to note that the A800 plug-in is an authentic model of a Studer tape machine; so while it can be used on busses or master fader for that “mixed to tape” sound, it’s arguably more powerful for its cumulative effect — stacking it as the first insert on many individual channels. The effect of creating full mix from scratch with the A800 plug-in can be stunning.
Source Distribution’s Genelec expert Steve Fisher has had over 10 years of experience in helping customers get the most out of their loudspeakers - so here are Steve’s top 10 tips to get you started. To view and download a handy PDF guide to many of these topics, please click here.
1. Try and position your speakers in the centre of whichever wall they are placed against. This means that the sound will be reflected equally from the left and right walls of your room, which will help achieve better stereo imaging.
2. The speakers should be positioned at 2 points of an equidistant triangle, with the mix position being the third corner of the triangle. This places each speaker at an angle of 30° from the centre, which is generally accepted as the correct width for stereo listening. See diagram below.
Our tech support guru Chas offers his top ten tips for choosing an audio interface. While Chas has used some of Source’s favourite products as examples - such as PreSonus & Lynx - the same principles apply whatever brand you end up choosing. Happy shopping!
The first thing to consider is how your new audio interface will connect to your computer, and that depends on what connections you have available - for instance USB, FireWire or PCI.
Each connection method has its pros and cons but generally speaking they’re all capable of similarly high performance figures. There are various things to look out for here - for instance Firewire devices often don’t like sharing the Firewire bus with anything else, so if you already use a Firewire drive for backup or recording purposes it might be worth using a audio interface that connects in another way. If you are considering a PCI or PCIe card but you already have a lot of other similar cards such as Universal Audio UAD1 or UAD2 DSP cards in your system then simply finding an available slot can be problematic.
If you’re on a laptop then ExpressCard or USB are generally your only options, though again if you’re planning to use a UAD2 Solo Laptop card in your machine’s ExpressCard slot then a USB audio interface would be an ideal combination.
Using this criterion as an initial means of eliminating unsuitable products you should be able to narrow things down to a manageable shortlist with which to proceed…